Thursday, 19 December 2013

Kimchi nabe

A foodie friend came to visit so I decided to cook something special with her. We followed this recipe: and it turned out delicious! Such a great stew for when it is cold outside and want warming up. With the left over kimchi, pork and vegetables I made kimchi fried rice the next day. Pinterest is definitely worth a look when you need inspiration for something different to cook, I normally save photos of recipes only to forget about them later once I realize I never have the ingredients in my cupboard, but this time it worked out really well.

I don't know what it is about spicy hot foods that makes me feel so good during winter, but they always seem to lift my mood. The textures of this dish go really well together, firm tofu is the perfect consistency for a stew like this and I would definitely recommend raiding the frozen section of the Asian supermarkets for very thinly sliced, fatty pork because it really makes a difference to the overall taste.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Fun times at Cafe Nero...

On a random sidenote, I went out for a coffee with Z in York and as I was coming out of the Ladies, a grown man suddenly jumped out in front of me waving his hands and yelling "BOO!" After I screamed very, very, loudly, the poor man then realised that I wasn't his mother who he'd been intending to scare. By this point, I was actually crying with laughter (and relief) and he even turned out to be a barista. When I was back sitting with Z and my coffee, he shuffled over to our table and placed these three free drinks cards on the table still apologizing profusely. Such a random cute moment.
So of course we took complete advantage...

Winter warmers...

*Sigh* It is the final leg in the run up until Christmas and I am getting up later and later as it gets harder to leave my warm nest of a bed. Good thing my mum has taken to roasting a bag of chestnuts in the morning which I am munching my way through as I type this.

When it gets colder, I love the frosty windows and reading in the evenings by the fire, but most of all, I love the excuse to eat warm, comforting foods such as porridge and stews. When I am extra hungry in the morning, I always whip up a bowl of porridge and poached egg. I prepare the oats with water instead of milk, mix in a good pinch of salt and pepper, then simply poach and egg until the outside is just cooked and place it on top with a generous few twists of the pepper shaker for good measure.

My friend Z came up to York for a couple of days and as she shares my deep love of Japanese food so I decided to cook Japanese Curry (pronounced Kalleh). It is so simple to make, a staple for all Japanese families so there are many recipes flying around the internet. Best of all, anyone can make it as long as you have the block of seasoning (found in almost all Asian supermarkets for about £3-5). It freezes really well and I am always sure make up a huge batch that is supposed to last me a few weeks.
It never lasts that long in my freezer...

I fried up one medium onion, about 500g of chicken (I always use dark meat for the flavour), three large carrots, two large potatoes (cut into fairly large chunks). Once the chicken has lost it's pink colour, I poured enough water to cover everything, replaced the lid and left it to simmer until the vegetables were cooked (around 20 minutes). Oh and I almost forgot, I love to add broccoli around 10 minutes before the end. It just marries so well with the sauce and who doesn't love broccoli?
 I melted a block of the seasoning into the stew. The amount you put in really depends on how thick/strongly seasoned you want it to be, I put in just over half the block because I like it to be fairly liquid. Once it has bubbled away for a few minutes, I served it with generous helpings of steamed white rice. This dish definitely makes me extra thankful to have a mixed heritage,  I always  cook it for my friends and it has never let me down yet.